Final Doll Group Photos

I don’t mean final ever but good god I am not doing this again until I have a house with a doll room and can make some proper risers and set up my lighting kit and do the whole thing in stages. Also because, to be honest, looking at my collection as a whole makes me both happy and guilty. I have SO MANY dolls, and it feels selfish when we’re saving for a house and have a kid and all that. Doll collecting is such a luxury and I’m grateful for the time and money I’ve been able to put into mine. I try not to let myself feel too guilty.

Ok, more than guilty, I feel tired and lazy. Taking aaaall the dolls out of the dollhouse and getting them aaaaall set up at varying heights and checking aaaaall their hair and skirts and then making sure they’re aaaaaall facing the camera and then putting them aaaaaaall away… it takes forever!  have so little time for this.


So anyway, here they are:

IMG_1478Now, I know what you’re thinking. This is the most POORLY laid out photo of a doll collection that has ever existed. They are at all sorts of different, weird heights. The photo can’t be cropped so you can see my kid’s toys and dog toys to the side. There’s a shadow cast by me and a shadow cast by the window shade so the girls in the back are 7 miles away and blocked out by the light?

You know what? Too bad. 🙂 This is all I had time for and I’m not redoing it. Do you know what a time-consuming thing it was to even construct this awful photo? My photo teachers from college are turning over in their beds (not their graves! I’m not that old!)

So I was unhappy with the photo but not about to set them all up again to redo it. Instead, I decided a more manageable way to photograph my collection for now was in clusters. Ok, also I’m just a big nerd and I like categorizing things a LOT and I’ve made enough lists just writing out my dolls’ names in the past few weeks to look crazy, so this was an excuse to do something dorky.

Now, don’t be prepared to be amazed just because I decided to do smaller group photos. These photos are still TERRIBLE. But you try photographing a collection of like 34 dolls with a toddler who’s cutting his molars. It is not easy!

First, the fantasy girls: Kestrel, Evelyn, Delaney, Tinuviel, and Eirlys.


Then the 18th century girls: Kaya, Felicity, Vivienne, and Rosie.IMG_1480

Now the photos get even worse than standing on a blue towel. The 19th century girls: Josefina, Jemima, Caroline, Kirsten, Addy, and Gracie. (First, did you know I was almost named Jemima? I’m disappointed. It’s cute. Second of all: YES, I am trying YET ANOTHER doll for former-Ellen-then-Deirdre-now-Grace.)IMG_1505

What’s that? You miss shadowy pictures? Ok here you go! 20th century girls: Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Odette, Kit (whose eyebrows get totally lost), Bea, Emily, Molly (who needs her bangs cut), Maryellen, Nina, Meldy, and Ivy (who refuses to look at the camera). Also my dog Watson’s face because he refused to move away.IMG_1527

And finally, the modern girls. I don’t think i was even trying at this point. It looks like someone sneaking a cell phone picture on a closed movie set. Uh well. Here’s ???, Parisa, Margo, Flora, Leyla, Lenore, Sorah, and Kanani. Top left girl needs a name. Kanani has dark hair since this picture was taken mere days ago. And Margo and Flora have both been contemplating some time travel lately, so we’ll see what happens with them. IMG_1531

Ok, whew. We can all agree those are terrible pictures but there’s the fam and let’s not do this ever again*.

*Ever being until we get our house like I’m dreaming of and I have a dedicated doll room because I’m an overgrown child who refuses to buy a house that doesn’t have enough space for a dedicated doll room. 


Some New Girls

All right, despite being pretty quiet on the blog front, our family around here as grown. Largely in part to some doll splurges to stock up ahead of perma-panties. There are still a few dolls I want, but considering how out of space in our home we are, I think there won’t be many changes until we get a house. Notice I didn’t say none. Because every single time I say that, it’s immediately disproven. So let’s just say, not much.

SO let’s do some roll call, and I’ll add too that some of these girls may only have temporary identities or not entirely figured out identities. And I’m trying not to let that stress me out. For dumb reasons, having dolls without permanent identities stresses me out. I don’t know.

First, Sorah got mentioned already, but she’s great. Sorah is sort of a mini-me except that she’s artistic like my mom, Korean like my husband, and hard of hearing like me. She dyes her hair (hello, excuse to constantly change her wig!) which despite my husband pointing out is an Asian stereotype, is not one I’m trying to perpetuate. She’s not the badass quirky Asian girl with the dyed hair. She’s more of a Luna Lovegood sort. A bit spacey, very creative, sort of lives in her own world. She’s an only child, and her parents are equally as spacey and they’re all very happy. Her mom is completely deaf but her dad is hearing and she herself is hard of hearing. I don’t have her hearing aids yet, but my plan is to track down a pair and then my husband is going to help me install magnets in the hearing aids and her head so that she can wear them or not wear them, the way I do. I’m wildly uncomfortable with the permanently installed hearing aids. That’s a nightmare to me. Sorah herself though is permanent in the family!

Bea is next. I have wanted a #58 since she came out. OH MY GOSH, talk about one of the cutest dolls AG has put out. I’ve fawned over other collectors’ pictures and finally got my own. It took about two months out of the hairnet for her hair to finally reach its perfection, and then another month before I could figure out who she was. Finally she spoke: Her name is Bea, she lives in 1942, and she is the oldest in a family of 4. Her father is one of the Tuskegee Airmen, part of the 99th Fighter Squadron who were the first African American fighter pilots to be deployed overseas and see combat. Lots to still learn here. However Bea herself is precious and hard-working and still has lots to tell me about herself. I can’t stand how cute she is. Definitely one of my favorite dolls ever. She will never leave.

Flora is not new, but she’s had a bit of a make over. She’s now an Isabelle with #33 wig. Not that different from #33, but I love her nonetheless, and it freed up an MG mold for another doll I was wanting to use her for without, in my opinion, losing the soul of Flora, who I still adore.



Now we’re getting into the more complicated girls. Who I will not let stress me out.


This is Ophelia. You probably remember that this doll used to be Tinuviel. LOL. Now Tinuviel has had a total make over that makes her much more accurate to her story character, but this girl is too gorgeous to let go. So for now, she’s simply a random Medieval/Fantasy character named Ophelia. I’ve considered making her a Regency girl. She might be a good friend for Caroline.


This and the next girl are still figuring themselves out. I’ve been thinking of makin her an Indian doll but am not certain yet. She’s jumping back and forth between this and the black wig in the next picture. I like the name Gita if she winds up as an Indian girl, but I’ve also thought about taking her a Medieval/Fantasy route since I’ve only got white girls and she’d make a pretty badass one… Time will tell!


A #62. She strikes me as Egyptian but needs just the right wig. There she’s wearing a nice one, but that may go to #47. As I write this I”m looking at her with #55’s wig, also pretty and growing on me. So no clue, but she’s feeling her way around.


This is Eirlys, who sometimes goes by the nickname Mishka. She’s from a story I’ve been writing, and is neither Welsh nor Russian, but that’s neither here nor there. Right now, she’s sort of a one-outfit doll. You may also recognize the base doll from another photo where I called her Myfanwy. They are two different characters inhabiting one doll body. Which will stay? Maybe neither! But for now I like looking at her, and she’s a muse for my writing, and so we’ll see what happens with her.


And finally, Aloy (ay-loy). Dumb name but it grew on me. She’s not totally my creation, but is actually an homage doll to Horizon Zero Dawn, an amazing video game I just beat and loved. She’s not exactly the same. I don’t even know how long she’ll stay Aloy. I’m tempted to make some of her clothing. But the reality is that I impulse bought a few more wigs, and chances are Aloy will not remain herself long after I beat the game, so don’t get too used to her. When the new wigs arrive, I’ll try some on and see if she speaks to me as someone else. I’ve been missing Pippa, but if Ophelia goes Regency, that’s a lot of Regency girls, but then, everyone loves a Regency girl… hm.

Ok… I think that may be everyone for right now! Wowee. And who knows, some will change, and that’s just the way it goes until a doll really settles into herself. What can I say, I’m a restless collector!

Pajama Party

I forgot to post this in January, but that’s the month each year I put my dolls in their PJs. For me, it’s because January is the worst month –the holidays are over, it’s cold and dark and snowy, and I’m always in a slump. This year wasn’t so bad, since my kid kept me hopping, but it still made me warm and snuggly to see everyone looking cozy in their jammies.




Happy Birthday, Flora!

The downside of having a bunch of dolls is it’s always somebody’s birthday, but the upside is that it’s always somebody’s birthday! And though these posts are exactly a major celebration, it’s a nice little pick-me-up for me, and a fun excuse to focus on a specific doll.


Flora was the doll I didn’t expect to love and I’m high key in love with her now. I don’t tend to like light eyes on dolls, especially not Marie-Grace’s color (maybe because it’s basically my eye color?) I don’t think it looks great in the mold. But after I’d cleaned this girl up and plopped #33’s wig on her, Flora quickly became the most developed of my modern girls. I even have grown to accept the blue eyes. For now.

Ok, not the most believable scene-staging but I worked with what I had 😉

Flora is the daughter of a French ballerina and a musician. Her mother died about two years earlier, and her relationship with her father is not good, so she’s spent her time bouncing around homes –sometimes foster homes, sometimes the homes of distant relatives. Because of this, she tends to be a bit quiet, a bit of a loner. She dances, primarily ballet, because it’s a way to keep her mother alive, but she’s recently discovered that she loves ice skating and ice dancing even more than ballet -and she’s good at it. She’s not sure how she could ever choose between them. So her birthday present this year was an ice skating outfit for her first competition! I thought long and hard on which one to get for her, but I think this light blue is just perfect for her.


Flora also sings in choir and plays the piano. She adores mystery books. French is her first language but she’s fluent in English, although her slight accent has earned her teasing which she takes hard.


Spoiler alert: Flora is definitely going to win Gold at the Olympics, I’m just not sure in what category yet. Maybe ALL OF THEM because dolls don’t have to follow the rules. 🙂


Below is the first photo of Flora as herself. That wig went on and it was just pretty immediate who she was. Margo and Lenore have both been tougher to really get a grip on who they are and what they want in life.img_6164

Below is Flora with Rosie and Evelyn before she was reborn as Flora. She wasn’t in nearly as rough shape as Rosie was. I think it’s fun to see how even the same mold can look so different convey such different personality. Of these girls, Rosie is the feistiest though Evelyn isn’t far behind, she’s just a bit more prim and proper about it (a bit more entitled than Rosie is), and then Flora is the quietest, most introverted.


I didn’t think I’d ever have any modern dolls, but I love the ones I’ve got! I just realized I don’t have any pictures of Flora in her reading glasses… but they are all being a fun opportunity for me to explore new fashions and realize just how out of touch I am with pre-teens!




The AG Kitchen Has Arrived!

This year, my big gift to my dolls thanks to my Christmas bonus was the adorable AG kitchen! I grabbed it with a 20% off coupon since the price tag still scares me, even knowing it comes with tons of stuff. I knew it was backordered but jumped at the chance to use that coupon, and on the very last day of December it arrived, 2 weeks ahead of schedule!


Now, this is the first thing I’ve bought knowing it’ll have to sit in storage until we buy a house. In the past, I’ve avoided doing that, because why buy things I can’t enjoy yet? But now seeing how much Caroline’s parlor is going for on eBay, and knowing that the other big ticket items will be the same, I decided to make an exception for this one. The other option is to redo the kitchen in the dollhouse, which I might also do for a while, and store some of the stuff in there (like Kit’s cookstove). Either way, I’m out of room for my stuff. Boy, we’d sure like a house! But that’s why these aren’t the best quality photos, just enough to show everything off.


Still, it was fun to unbox and open the dozens of little plastic bags with tiny kitchen items. I’m a sucker for tiny kitchen items. And truthfully, I hadn’t really looked at exactly what it came with, so I was delighted to discover it comes with a chair (kind of odd but ok) and even more little foods than I knew. Pieces of the kitchen are sturdy metal, like the pot rack and the butter knife. It looks like the mixer can actually spin. And there are a plethora of cabinets and drawers.


There are some weird pieces about it too though. For instance, the scale is ALL over the place. The half-gallon of milk is tiny in scale for the 9-year-old dolls. The sink can fit almost a hand. The measuring cups are teeny tiny, particularly compared to the measuring spoons, and mine don’t have a ring attaching them even though they’ve got the hole for it. The recipes have to fit diagonally in the recipe box, and the box doesn’t close with them in it. That’s pretty low quality for the cost of this set.


The set comes with more spice jar labels than spice jars, which I find really obnoxious because you have to pick your favorite spices, and not all of them are things you would really keep in those giant jars. Odd choices. Like, why mustard but not thyme? Garlic? Very strange. The jars also aren’t enough to really fill out the spice rack, but the salt and pepper grinders (which actually turn!) and vegetable oil are too big to fit.


Our dogs are absolutely part of our family, but I would never teach them to ring a bell when they wanted more food. They’d ring it all the time! Although they sort of do this when their water bowl is empty; we hear their tags clinking against the metal bowl and know to refill. Anyway, I think this part is cute, though it would annoy me if I didn’t have any of the pets.


I think when I set this set up for real someday, I’ll put spices in those jars so they aren’t just empty. And while I’m pointing out a lot of annoyances, in general I do really like the set. The butcherblock countertop is beautiful, and I love the design of the whole thing. I love that there’s a little pull out garbage can and need to make a tiny trash bag for it. I love that the bread slices fit in the toaster and can go shooting up out of it. The modern girls will be very happy with this part of their apartment when I get it set up someday. If I was a little girl, I’d lose my mind over this set; I came close to it even as an adult.


Worth the full price? Hm… I don’t know, but I tend to be pretty unhappy with AG’s prices anyway (even though I keep buying). And yet I prioritize and buy, and I’m glad to have this! With all those little pieces, it’ll definitely be crazy on eBay.




Merry Christmas from the family

In chronological, meandering order with some modern girl bookends:

Tinuviel, Evelyn, Delaney, Kaya, Rosie, Felicity, Vivienne, Caroline, Josefina, Ellen, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, Nellie, Rebecca, Kit, Molly, Emily, Nina, Maryellen, Melody, Ivy, Kanani, Flora, Lenore on the right, and Margo on the left!

I wasn’t going to do a full family photo, especially because I’m about to get a new girl (yikes) and because I’ve hit the point where full family photos feel… I don’t know, sort of braggy? Or they at least leave me feeling a little bit overwhelmed with how big my collection has gotten I think 20 dolls was the point to me where I went holy cow, I’ve got a lot of dolls. As you’ll see, I’ve made some changes, tucked some dolls away (sorry, Peter!) There will always be dolls I love and want, but I think after I get the new goty, new dolls are going to have to wait for a good long while. I am very, very fortunate to have added so many girls to my family and yes, I’ve been collecting for a long time (I got Samantha 21 years ago!) I think I’m at a good point to sit back and enjoy all the beautiful girls I have!

Photographing this year was pretty difficult as it’s been raining all week so what little light I usually have was even worse than usual, and my phone camera was doing a poor job.

And of course one of my trusty sidekicks helped oversee the photoshoot, made sure everyone was looking where they were supposed to, stitched up any wardrobe malfunctions…

Preparation… yowsa.


Gingerbread Haute Couture

Usually I’m not too drawn to cutesy fabric but this gingerbread pattern stole my heart immediately. And when I was contemplating what to make of it, I knew I wanted something with green accents to balance the red candy canes for maximum holiday cuteness.

Enter Melody Valerie Couture’s Monday Morning Dress. It was almost perfect at first sight, but I was envisioning the dress with more of a gathered look than pleats (also I need a break from pleats…) Which worked out perfectly because I didn’t have enough fabric to do a pleated skirt anyway!


OK, full disclosure, I barely looked at the pattern at all. I’m sure it was very helpful!  I use it to sew the fabric bodice together, but then by the time I started sewing the lining, I wound up just doing a lined bodice the way I already know how rather than with the armscye. I cut out the bands! But then got on auto-pilot and forgot to look up until the dress was done.


So I can’t qualify this as an actual review of the pattern instructions, but as far as design goes, I am absolutely in love. I even did the bow, which I didn’t think I’d like at first, and it’s just all perfect. Usually I dislike the things I make right away, or I’m at least critical of them, but I adore this.